We are all aware of how amazing coconut tastes, but did you know that it may even be helping you with your weight loss goals?!
It now appears that the oil from the tropical coconut may be supplying more benefits than we realise.
Medium chain triglycerides, more affectionately known as MCT’s, are fatty acids that actually boost metabolism and burn fat, and thankfully coconut oil is full of them! To understand how MCT’s work, we need to know a little about fatty acids in the first place.
Fats (or lipids) occur naturally in most foods and they perform many functions in the body:
- to store essential energy
- transport fat-soluble vitamins around the body
- protect internal organs by cushioning them
- and keep us toasty and warm when we are cold
Fatty acids are the small building blocks that string together to create different kinds of fats. They are divided into medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s) and long chain triglycerides (LCT’s). The well known poly-unsaturated fats (omega 3 & 6) and mono-unsaturated fats (omega 9) are both classified as LCT’s. These fatty acids are commonly found in oil such as olive, avocado and flax seed oils.
M to the C to the T’s!
This is where the fat burning magic happens! MCT’s contained in coconut oil have shown to encourage thermogenesis – a process where the body uses fat stored in the body, as energy. So effectively if you consume the right fat, it can help to actually burn fat! Additionally MCT’s have a lower calorie count than other fats, an important factor for those watching their weight.
Thankfully, MCT’s are easily digested by the body making them a great fuel for the body to convert into energy.
Caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid and lauric acid are all fatty acids (MCT’s) that are found in coconut oil. The most predominant MCT found in coconut oil is lauric acid making up about 50% of the oil. Lauric acid helps to provide coconut oil’s reputation for being anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
Coconut oil is a great choice for anyone with weight management goals and a need for increased energy. There are various recommendations in regards to exactly how much coconut oil is required to aid in weight loss, however 5 grams (1 teaspoon) twice a day around meal times is a good starting point.